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A 'significant wind storm' with gusts over 100 km/h could cause 'widespread damage' across Metro Vancouver

A "significant wind storm" is already blustering across the Metro Vancouver region, and things are only likely to get worse as the day progresses.

A "significant wind storm" is already blustering across the Metro Vancouver region, and things are only likely to get worse as the day progresses.

Environment Canada issued a wind warning for all of Metro Vancouver's municipalities early Thursday morning, cautioning that "very strong wind gusts that may cause damage are expected or occurring."


This powerful low pressure system hitting coastal B.C. today is expected to reach the mainland coast by afternoon.

So far, sustained southeast winds of 50 to 80 km/h have been blowing across the south coast. By later this morning they will be up to 70 to 90 km/h. Winds will switch to southwesterly 70 to 90 km/h this afternoon, with stronger gusts likely above 100 km/h. Winds will ease this evening and shift to west to northwest, warns the weather agency.

"This will be a significant wind storm likely causing widespread damage," notes Environment Canada.

With the winds we're also getting a good soaking of rain, with some areas in southern B.C. receiving rainfall warnings; Howe Sound, the Fraser Valley, and Fraser Canyon could get up to 50 millimetres of rainfall by Friday.

Vancouver may see the rains taper off this morning, though the remainder of the day comes with a forecast of a 60 percent chance of rain in the area.

Of course, in other parts of B.C., it's all about the snow. Snowfall or winter storm warnings are also up for mountain passes to and from the Interior with Environment Canada advising of rapidly accumulating snow on sections of the Sea-to-Sky, Coquihalla, Highway 3 and Highway 1 between Eagle Pass and Rogers Pass.

As much as 15 centimetres of snow is forecast for the Peace River and surrounding areas of northeast B.C., while special weather statements for the Cariboo, 100 Mile, Thompson and Okanagan warn those regions should see potentially damaging winds later in the day.

It's pretty certain Vancouver won't see a white Christmas, but we may not end up with a wet one, either: “Right now it looks like Christmas Day will be dry,” Environment Canada Meteorologist Matthew McDonald told Vancouver Is Awesome.

Vancouver saw one of its wettest weeks on record this month. While the first week of December was relatively dry and sunny, things took a decidedly damp turn after that. The forecast originally called for snow, however, it rained in the Lower Mainland instead.

With files from the Canadian Press and Elana Shepert